DONNE, John. Letters to Severall Persons of Honour. (1651 - FIRST EDITION FIRST ISSUE)

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TITLE: Letters to Severall Persons of Honour: Written by John Donne, Sometime Deane of St Pauls London. Published by John Donne Dr. of the Civill Law.

PUBLISHER: London: Printed by J. Flesher, for Richard Marriot, 1651.

DESCRIPTION: FIRST EDITION FIRST ISSUE. 1 vol., square 4to., 7-1/2" x 5-11/16", (v)318pp.(i), complete with the exceedingly scarce frontis portrait plate by Pieter Lombart and the first and last blank endleaves, bound in contemporary full dark brown calf over cords.

CONDITION: Expertly rebacked, gilt lettered red morocco spine label, back corners renewed, largely clean and bright throughout.

PROVENANCE: Engraved piscatorial bookplate to front pastedown of Henry A. Sherwin (1842-1916). Henry founded the Sherwin-Williams Company, the world's largest paint and sulfa drug base manufacturer in 1866.

REFERENCE: Keynes 55; Wing D1864

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: According to RBH the last copy to appear at auction was 1987. Published posthumously by the poet's son, John Donne (1604-1662), this collection contains 129 letters, written between December 1600 (a year before Donne's marriage to Anne More) and March 1631 (two months before his death.) "'In no other kind of conveyance, 'Donne once told Goodere,' can we find so perfect a Character of a man as in his Letters'. These letters provide valuable information about Donne's situation and frame of mind at the time of the poems that many readers consider his greatest achievements.